Now that we talked about the Un-Independant bottlers, let’s taste some recent Benromach.
On the nose I get a little vanilla, loads of fudge and a whiff of peat smoke. There is also a meaty side that brings to mind Parma ham, I recall finding that in Clynelish as well. A flowery note lies underneath all that. The arrival is sweet, full bodied with an oily texture, almost chewy. A wonderful strain of smoke weaves through the other flavours. So well composed, the oak is there but just rounding everything off. With water it gets fruitier, forest fruits and raisins, honey and some lemon zest. The meaty note has developed into a vegetal one, lets call it cellery stock. The smoke is ever so slight now. The nose has certainly not improved with water, lets see what the pallet says? Still very viscous and quite sweet, some more oak as well. It has turned really flat now. I would not add water to this Whisky, mind you 43% is allready as low as I like to go for drinking strengh. Medium finish that leaves you with a taste of dunnage warehouse and camp fire.
Well done Gordon&Macphail (owners of Benromach since 1993) quite the statement for a 10 year old. I really like this style a lot. Can’t wait for whats coming…
This version noses quite dense and concentrated in comparison (thanks Captain Obvious @57%). Starts with some honeyed barley, maple sirup and stewed fruit. The parma ham is present but not as strong, vegetable stock and umami. A light floral note as well. Again some sweet arrival and full body but the alcohol is a little strong to detect anything else. Let’s add some water. A lot lighter now with vanilla, fudge, mirabelles accompanied by their flowers. Honey on barley toast (seriously!!!), sunflower oil, asparagus stock this time and just a tiny bit of smoke left. The ham went back to Italy it seems… Almost gooey texture now (ahaa thats what they call waxy!!!), sweet, some more oak from the cask. Medium long finish with my beloved taste of dunnage warehouse (is it just me that loves this?) but hardly any smoke this time. Less complex than the regular 10 year old. I prefer that one in most aspects.